Molecular diversity of Theileria parva: a case study of Kilosa district, Morogoro, Tanzania
Theileria parva is an apicomplexan protozoan parasite which causes East Coast fever (ECF) in Eastern and Central Africa. A study was conducted between February and May 2012 in Morogoro region to determine the diversity of the T. Parva parasite circulating in cattle in Kilosa district. Also ECF cases reported between 2008 and 2009 at Veterinary Investigation Centres (VIC’s) were analysed retrospectively to gain insight into the current status of ECF in Tanzania. A total of 100 cattle and 95 ticks were investigated. Conventional Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) was used to determine the diversiyof T. parva by amplification of surface protein (p67). The study revealed the existence of two strains of T. parva with 800 and 900 bp respectively. This study revealed T. parva allele which has never been reported to be present in the imported ECF trivalent vaccine (“Muguga cocktail”) currently in use. Retrospective analysis on ECF cases of the disease indicated lower prevalence of ECF compared to the prevalence reported by other workers. These findings call for more study on the molecular epidemiology of T. parva circulating in cattle in the different grazing lands in Tanzania. The VICs are required to improve their diagnostic facilities and database.
Keywords: Indigenous cattle, pastoralists, molecular epidemiology, genotyping